The development of new ways to make electric power in environmentally benign ways is of critical importance. Faculty members are involved in several key areas that are closely coupled to the more fundamental topics listed above. The development of new catalysts for the thermal conversion of water into hydrogen utilizes advanced computational methods. The conversion of biomass (such as waste materials, lignin, and cellulose) for the production of hydrogen and ethanol uses enzymatic and other catalytic methods, and this topic requires understanding fundamental aspects if complex fluids. Plasma processes can also be used to produce hydrogen and other combustible gases from a variety of renewable feeds.